New Lens, New Suit, a Day of Biking

October 24th, 2009. Categories / China, Shanghai

On Saturday, J. and I ran a variety of errands in the morning before setting out on a magical dusk/night bike ride.

Our first stop was coffee and scones. Then, we biked to a photographic equipment center at the corner of Lu Ban Lu and Xie Tu Lu. Named Xing Guang Photographic Equipment City, the four-story building had a wide variety of new and used camera equipment and wedding dresses. I browsed through a variety of stores, eventually deciding on buying a new Nikon 50mm 1.8 prime lens for around $100. Apparently the lens would be faster and sharper than the two zoom lenses I had already. Verdict: true.

Our next stop was the Shanghai South Bund Spinning Materials Market (a.k.a “The Fabric Market”) located south of The Bund and the Old City, on 399 Lujiabang Lu. My reluctant goal was to get a custom-tailored wool suit for wedding purposes. We checked out a lot of vendors before deciding on a sharp looking style made in a unique brown wool/cashmere blend. My measurements were taken, and my first fitting should be in a week. Total cost, un-bargained: 600RMB($90). Not to shabby for a tailor made suit. I’ll be getting a nice winter coat in another visit too.
image
Old lady versus new bus.
image
Streetside key maker.
image
Yellow scooter, in bad shape.
image
Sledge hammering.
image
Man sprays water to keep dust down.
image
Oranges and bananas for sale.
image
Taxi driver puts his feet up.
image
Old wallpaper.
image
Toilet and shoe.
image
Fowl for sale.
image
Close up.
image
Greens and mushrooms on the street.
image
Crayfish.
image
Duck.
image
Man and bike crossing an intersection.
image
Pastel buildings.
image
Woman killing and cleaning chickens on the street.
image
Neighborhood pipes.
image
Electric box.
image
Construction worker looking through wall.
image
Girl in the shadows of an old building.
image
Chipped paint and pattered window decal.
image
Lady in red plays with army men.
image
Worker on a pile driver.
image
Hairy crabs season is upon us.
image
Shanghai Material Market sign.
image
Bolts of cloth inside.
image
Bird drawing in stairwell.
image
Two sleeping blokes in the hallway.
image
Turquoise jewelry.
image
Cactus on windowsill.
image
Foam laden cart.
image
Unusual snacks.
image
Construction worker looks over a building being demolished.
image
Me in a restaurant.
image
Eggplant and green beans.
image
Chicken, chilies, and peanuts.

After a late lunch, we met up with a friend and started biking towards the construction near the river. Dust was in the air and people stared at us with curiosity as we biked into the thick of construction and derelict buildings. The area was really neat. Despite it’s sad fate of being demolished in the near future, everyone wandering around seemed happy. Construction workers were everywhere. At dusk, most construction had stopped, and people were eating dinner at dingy restaurants on the street and tucked into corners. Our bike ride took us down narrow alleys that few “old foreigners” had likely been on. One alley looked like it dead ended, but we decided to follow it since a lot of construction workers seemed to be biking down it. But it was a dead end. All of the workers were going to an enormous, bee-hive feeling barracks built inside an old warehouse. A few seemed surprised to see us, others yelled enthusiastic hellos.

As night arrived, we found ourselves biking through massive, dusty construction sites near the river. These were places that would be off-limits in any Western country. We saw dirt roads, freshly poured lanes, deep foundation pits for new housing towers. The area wasn’t well lit. Construction workers walked around in the darkness like zombies. I kicked myself for not having a tripod. I had to use the shelf on the back of my bike instead, but it was a sorry substitute.
image
Garbage collectors.
image
A new road under construction at sunset.
image
Scale.
image
Door, shirt, rail.
image
Bikes.
image
Old neighborhood by the river.
image
Styrofoam cart.
image
More construction.
image
Me.
image
Not me.
image
Casual restaurant on a dusty road.
image
New buildings tower above nothing.
image
New road looking towards the river.
image
Warm lighting over a construction pit.
image
Buildings bathed in green light.
image
Dump truck.
image
The open foundation to a new tower.
image
Another view.
image
Crane.
image
Electric boxes.
image
Lupu Bridge at night with dredge boats in foreground.
image
Weird kiosk in the middle of falling apart buildings.
image
Dusty street.
image
Fruit stand.

At the end of the ride, J. had to have her back tire patched twice. The second time, the mechanic didn’t mountain the tire properly and the whole tube popped. After a third fix, we were on our way to a snack of pastries and coffee before meeting another friend for dinner.

It was a dusty, tiring, and wonderful day. I stayed up until 2 in the morning looking at photos, watching movies on youku and playing guitar.

One Comment


Yet another round of fantastic imagery. I would absolutely love to see a post on exactly what gear you’re carrying around, and how you transport it as you zag about the city.

Leave a Comment